IFBB Pro Mary Dent is proof that age is nothing but a number. Active throughout her life, the mother of three became serious about fitness when she started training for her first NPC show at age 45. She earned her pro card at 53 and a few months ago placed second at the IFBB
Pittsburgh Masters Pro over 45 division, proving that age is truly a state of mind!
Here are Mary’s top tips for flat abs
1. When exercising, always keep your abdominal muscles tight and engaged.
2. Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, spread out throughout day to stay well hydrated and also for skin benefits.
4. Eliminate junk food from your diet, including processed foods, high-calorie meals and sugary drinks like sodas and alcohol.
5. Minimize stress as much as you can. Stress can cause many different hormones to be released, including cortisol, which can increase storage and distribution of fat in the belly area.
6. Avoid boredom— vary your ab exercises by using different equipment. Here are just a few ideas: stability ball, ab machines, bands, floor mat and BOSU ball.
7. Avoid skipping meals because this can cause your metabolism to slow down.
9. Avoid holding your breath during exercise. Exhale on upward movement and inhale on downward movement.
10. Abdominal exercises can be done any time of day, with or without equipment. Sometimes Mary does her ab workout before weight training when she’s more energized, or at home in the evening.
11. Make sleep a priority. Sleep has so many benefits; it provides you with energy the following day, boosts your immune system and allows your body a recovery period, and you also burn calories while sleeping.
12. Work abs at least three times per week with rest between. Remember— strong abs support your spine, so this is beneficial in preventing lower back injury during everyday activities.
13. Incorporate music that you enjoy and that will ramp up your energy. Choose a tempo according to the type of exercise you are performing.
14. Surround yourself with friends and family that make you smile, and help them achieve a healthy lifestyle as well.
Mary’s Flat Abs Workout
Perform 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps of each exercise, with the exception of the plank.
Reverse press. Raise feet to ceiling while lying flat on back, and concentrate on contracting abdominals while raising glutes off the floor. For extra low back support, place hands under hips.
Dumbbell crunch. Lie flat on the floor with knees bent and hold a light dumbbell. Press weight toward ceiling during upward motion, then lower slowly on downward motion, keeping abdominals tight.
Bicycle abdominal crunch. While lying flat on back, bring knee up towards opposite elbow simultaneously while supporting head by placing hands behind head to avoid any strain. Hold opposite leg straight out.
Abdominal scissor kicks. While lying face up, place both hands underneath lower back. Raise both legs several inches off floor and flutter kick while keeping legs straight with toes pointed. Remember to concentrate on keeping abdominal region tight. The closer feet are to floor the more challenging this exercise is.
Plank. Hold yourself in plank position at least for 20-30 seconds, keeping your midsection tight. Relax for 5-10 seconds, then repeat three times.